CaféBabel Napoli: What do you think about Europe as a cultural and social Agorà?
Rob Moir: Having toured in 14 different countries within Europe now, it changes slightly from culture to culture, but I would say the continent loves arts and nurtures them possibly more than North America at times. The mood and work/life balance is incredible here, its amazing how much free time the average European has over its other 'Western' neighbours.
CBN: Are you having remarkable and pleasant feedbacks by yourcurrent tour?
RM: Yes, the tour in Italy was a complete success in my mind, we had audiences attend the concerts for my first real extensive tour of the country, it was a great time.
CBN: You use to define your music “Folknoir” and yourself “punk poet“. How do these two souls cohabit in the way you make music?
RM: 'Folk Noir' is more of a silly term based on film noir, but its true some of my songs lyrically touch on harder or more honest subjects which I can't stop writing about. The 'Punk-Poet' tag was quoted by someone else I don't really love it or hate it, I guess it was someone's impression about my music.
CBN: According to the influences you mentioned (alcohol poetry,lovetraveling (lack of it) you remember us a Poète maudit but in the American version (kinda “singing Bukowski”). Do you recognizeyourself in this definition or you feel more inspired by the lifestyle of the Beat Generation?
RM: A little bit, I do romanticize that timeframe, like people romanticize a lot of different times in history, however I would not want to live in any other time frame then the present one we have now. I certainly don't feel I wish I lived in 'simpler times' whatsoever. I feel the times we live in today are just as interesting and I love technology, the reach of the internet. I appreciate the work of those writers and poets in history and continue to look forward to new works just as much.
CBN: The lyrics of your songs deal with people who touch the bottom of their souls, ashamed by their fears. Are your lyrics, even partially,autobiographical or are they inspired by those are closest to you in your provocations? (if autobiographical) Why do you feel the need to export so much? Is that a sort of provocation, complaint or sublimation?
RM: I'd say sometimes they are auto-biographical and sometimes completely fiction, for example 'Oh Margot Please' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8dmkR4uAj4 comes from characters from opposite spectrums of society and touches on hardships of life no matter how much money you have.
I love the expression one can do with lyrics or poetry and emotions that can come together with melody and words together, pop music in my opinion works similar and can be incredible, but I suppose sometimes I like filling up the entire song with words and sometimes I hold back.
CBN: According to you, does counter-culture affect the possibility of underground artists to emerge and rise?
RM: Yes sure it does, but more importantly the technology/social media and other web forums that can reach so many more people than an artist could in the past so this trumps it completely. Anything is possible if your attitude is in the right place.
CBN: Do you think that in your country is tough or easy to have a chance to emerge?
RM: Both, It's a big place and if you want to tour and find your audience the way I do, by mostly making fans in the 'live' sense, its very tough because of huge distances, small population and large costs of touring the country more than once or twice a year.
However Canada has a history of supporting artists with grants and bursaries and I feel without this it just wouldn't be possible to justify touring your own country. Not too many artists can break even on it, so its an investment. That being said Canada's audiences love music and are very appreciative when artists from far away will come and play for them, its just tough the first few times.
CBN: Among your various interests on your Facebook page, there are many writers (Orwell, Kerouac) and Darwin. Do you love? Does it influence the way you make art?
RM: Not really, I appreciate and love arts, science the thirst for knowledge, but my lyrics and interests in song themes don't exactly come from a place of consciously trying to write about a specific theme, its a little mysterious and always exciting to see how the lyrics turn out, but there is no real pattern or inspiration outside of the art of simply song-writing.
CBN: Let’s conclude this interview by an unavoidable question for any artist who has the luck and privilege to exhibit in this unique town, embraced amid sea and fire. Are you enjoying Naples? Did it inspire you any remarkable feeling?
RM: I loved Naples, it was a wonderful chaotic and beautiful city, I hope more people get to experience Southern Italy, it really is a gem of a place. It felt like something totally different then the rest of Europe and I have some greta images of its streets, zipping scooters and local merchants atop the dramatic coastline.